The Bengals Fail to Protect Their Prized Possession

Joe Burrow Suffers Season Ending Knee Injury

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Joe Burrow gets embraced by his Bengal and former Ohio State teammates before being carted off the field.

The Cincinnati Bengals will be without their #1 overall pick for the rest of this season and possibly into next season. Joe Burrow suffered a gruesome knee injury this past Sunday when he got sandwiched in between two Washington defenders.

Burrow will finish his rookie season throwing for 2,688 and 13 Touchdowns on 264/404 pass attempts. Going into Sunday’s game against the Washington Football Team, Burrow was 2nd in the NFL in pass attempts and 3rd in completions with only 5 interceptions. Very impressive stats for a rookie who has proved to be as advertised coming out of LSU.

The concern for Burrow’s health has been lingering all season long due to the incompetence of the Bengals offensive line. Cincinnati’s offensive line ranks 31st in the NFL. Joe Burrow has been running for his life the entire season… making his passing stats even more impressive.

Joe Burrow had taken his fair share of hits through his first 9 NFL starts, but was starting to learn how to protect himself inside and outside of the pocket. Something all rookie quarterbacks learn quickly after taking their first big hit from an NFL defender. Sunday was no different. Burrow had taken a big hit from former Ohio State teammate, Chase Young earlier in the game where he fumbled at the goal line. He got his bell rung pretty good but toughed it out and was right back under center the next possession.

The future of the Bengals came to a screeching halt early in the 3rd quarter. With the Bengals leading the Washington Football Team 9–7, Burrow dropped back to pass from deep in his own territory. He had a clean pocket to throw out of, however, once he stepped up to make the throw, his pocket began to collapse. Once he released the ball down field, he had two Washington defenders bearing down on him. One Washington defender was knocked into Burrow by a Bengal’s offensive lineman. That defender did not intentionally try to hit Burrow in his knee by any means. While that defender fell into Burrow’s lower body, another defender was jumping onto his back. This caused the momentum of Burrow’s torso to go forward while his lower body was getting crunched in a direction that it is not meant to go.

If I had to describe the injury to somebody that did not see it, I would tell them to envision his knee/ leg in an “L” shape… I think they would get the gist.

Burrow was carted off the field after his Bengal teammates and former Ohio State teammates Terry McLaurin, Dwayne Haskins, and Chase Young embraced him. He sent out a tweet shortly after he was carted off that read “Thanks for all the love. Can’t get rid of me that easy. See ya next year.” Obviously, he knew the severity of his injury right away. An MRI early Monday morning confirmed everyone’s assumptions and more… The official diagnosis is a “Torn ACL, MCL, and other structural damage to the knee including PCL and meniscus.” A recovery time of 9–12 months.

I, along with sports fans everywhere, wish Joe Burrow a speedy recovery and can’t wait to see him doing what he does best once he is cleared to return.

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty… No, not the dance. I’m talking about the blame game.

The Bengals front office completely failed to protect their prized possession. I put a lot of the blame for this injury on them. When you draft a quarterback with the #1 overall pick, the next move should be to sure up the offensive line. I realize that task is a lot easier said then done, but the truth is, it could have been done. The Bengal’s did nothing in the offseason, leading up to the season, or during the season to improve Joe Burrow’s protection. The offensive line of the Bengals has been at the bottom of the league since week 1. Without a doubt, there is something they could have done to improve… yet they did nothing and look what happens.

The Buccaneers are a prime example of how to protect your prized possession quarterback. They sign Tom Brady in the offseason. The very next move they make is to protect him. They go out and draft the best offensive lineman in the 2020 NFL draft in Tristan Wirfs. Granted Joe Burrow was the Bengals draft pick, so many can argue that they could not have drafted an offensive lineman… However, they could have made a trade, or signed a free agent that could have helped protect their #1 overall pick.

Another example is Aaron Rodgers and Phillip Rivers. Both the Packers and Colts front offices know that the number one priority they have is protecting their quarterback. The Packers and Colts both have great offensive lines. You rarely see Aaron Rodgers or Phillip Rivers take big hits like the ones Burrow has been taking all season long.

Again, Brady, Rodgers and Rivers are veteran quarterbacks who know how to protect themselves a lot better than Burrow, but there was nothing Joe Burrow could have done to avoid that injury.

The Bengals coaching staff, and front office should be ashamed of themselves for allowing Joe Burrow to take snaps behind such an incompetent offensive line without taking any initiative to improve it.

If the Bengals do not take steps to insure a better offensive line moving forward, somebody needs to get fired.

With that being said, I would like to formally apply to become the next GM of the Cincinnati Bengals… Whoever does the hiring for the Bengals front office staff… Hit me up.

Once again, I wish Joe Burrow the best in his recovery and the future of his NFL career, and I am calling for heads to roll in the Cincinnati front office.

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